Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Motorway Chaos

I've been over Essex this morning and gave an impromptu 'Eye in the sky' traffic report to Julia George at BBC Radio Kent from the QE2 bridge at Dartford.

The M25 and its approach roads are a terrible mess. The motorway is closed on the north side of the bridge by lakeside after an incident, with several police cars and motorway recovery vehicles on the carriageway. The route into the tunnel looks blocked with all approach roads on the north side jammed.

On the south side of the river, the traffic jam extends as far as the eye can see towards Brands Hatch and from Blue Water and the M2 and M25 junction it stretched in both directions. A really bad day for drivers and I'm told the motorway may remain closed for four hours.

You'll see I've added an iPad 3.0 to my co-pilot control column and I've ordered an iPad mini to mount on my own. It's remarkable that in such a short period of time, the technology has completely overtaken the conventional avionics kit at a tiny fraction of the price and with more functionality.

With the iPad, I can immediately pull-up up to date weather, charts as well as instrument approach plates in bad conditions and its a huge safety innovation,as much if not all of the information I might need to navigate a flight is directly at my finger-tips without having to go 'heads down' at any time searching for it.

On a completely separate note of news, you may have heard that Erick Pickles has announced that Council's will see their spending drop a further 1.7% next year to add to those cuts already applied to date.

The landscape of local government is very obviously changing and the writing was on the wall and a subject of discussion, even before the recession struck and during Gordon Brown's time as Prime Minister.

The decade that followed Tony Blair, saw entitlement, costs, pensions and salaries run completely out of control. As the coalition seeks to reduce the deficit it inherited, the financial consequences will be seen across every service that we've become used to and frequently perceive as a right rather than simply incremental services local government was able to deliver through generous central funding in the past; spending money it had borrowed from our grandchildren.

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